It's only been a little over a year since I traveled by air (to Italy), but jeez, has it become a big pain in the ya-ha. Evidently airlines charge a limb to check bags now so people lug everything around more than they used to; I've always had a little rolling suitcase I cram everything into and it's been fine, but I've also always been reluctant to rush onto an airplane just to sit there for an hour while everyone else boards, and that's a strategic error nowadays. Why? Because if you're the last one on, everyone has filled the overhead bins with their rolling suitcases and yours has to be checked on the spot. Big problem if you have a connecting flight. I ended up literally fleeing through the Phoenix airport today to get my connecting flight. Where they also checked my rolling bag. At least it made it through. I'm always mildly surprised when checked baggage shows up on the conveyor belt thingers.
Also, I'm certain I have listened to an IPOD previously while the plane taxied and rose into the air, but now there's a good 45 minutes where if a widget has an off switch you have to have it off and put away. Translation: you're screwed if you didn't bring a paper book. I did have a library book and some nursing journals or I would have been very cranky indeed. Is my iPod Nano really going to interfere with air-control traffic? Suddenly? When it didn't before?
They HAVE perfected the security business where you can get through it before developing more gray hairs, so that's a plus, but inexplicably my piercings set off the metal detectors and they had to go through my bags. Which didn't set off the metal detectors. I can't figure that out at all.
Final airline issue: on my way out, I had an hour layover and got a cup of coffee. I had to throw it away before I got on the plane. This was inside-security coffee. It was $3 coffee. I had arisen at 1AM according to that time zone. Without this coffee, I had to sit on the plane for an hour waiting for a tiny little cup of dismal airplane coffee. My friend had the perfect question: "What new hell is this?" Seriously.
Issue unrelated to the TSA: I will personally create a new circle of hell for people who kick the back of your seat during an early morning flight and prevent you from sleeping. PUT YOUR KNEES DOWN.